With 20 Democratic presidential hopefuls flocking to Detroit for the second round of debates this week, so too is Trump's campaign. And the president's team is banking on economic improvements in the Great Lakes State to help him bring another victory in 2020.
"The economy in Michigan is doing great," Marc Lotter, director of strategic communications for Trump 2020, told Cheddar on Tuesday. "Over 100,000 jobs have been added since the president took office, 27,000 jobs in manufacturing alone."
He added that the campaign needs to continue pushing their message out. Thus far in the campaign run — at rallies and on Twitter — Trump has stuck with fairly similar talking points: hard on immigration, tough on China, and boosting job growth. The message stays the same in Michigan.
"One of the easiest things is we now have a record to run on," Lotter said.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump promised to rethink the NAFTA trade deal. To that end, last November, Trump, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, and Mexico's then-President Enrique Peña Nieto signed the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), which still awaits ratification by their respective governments.
Lotter said NAFTA had "eviscerated" Michigan, adding "Their [former] Democratic governor [Jennifer Granholm] said that NAFTA gave Michigan the 'shafta.' It was a long time ago, but it's so true."
Of course, Democrats disagree about the president's success. On Monday, Lavora Barnes, chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, told Cheddar that she hopes the Democratic candidates share their thoughts on the president's record during the second round of debates.
"What I want to hear them talk about are all the things that Donald Trump has done to either lie, or to pull back on promises he made to people," Barnes said.
This week, General Motors' 78-year-old transmission plan in Warren, Michigan will halt production. It is one of five plants that will be closed in North America after GM announced that it would suspend operations in an effort to reshape its business model, and move into the electric phase. Nearly 6,700 jobs will be implicated as a result of these closures.
Nevertheless, Lotter stays focused on the positive. In February, Fiat Chrysler announced it would spend $4.5 billion to expand factory production in the state, including a new Jeep assembly plant in Detroit, adding a total of 6,500 jobs.
"Those are the kinds of victories that the people of Michigan want to see, other states are going to want to repeat it, and that's why I think President Trump is going to be re-elected."